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Jared Box Project Gets Boost From Target Stores

by on December 20, 2014 9:45 AM

It’s been quite a month for a Port Matilda-based initiative called the Jared Box Project.

The campaign, which sends boxes of toys and games to children in hospital's across the country, extended its reach in November when it was named the target service project for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Now, Target, the department store chain, is helping give the project a boost as well.

Seventy Target stores in Pennsylvania has agreed to have employees contribute items to create Jared Boxes.

The outreach was started at the Target store in Wilkes-Barre. According to Janelle Margolis, a human resources manager at Target, an employee in Wilkes-Barre who lost a son to cancer started the movement to get every store involved.

Target generally takes on at least one charity project a month and the Jared Box Project was a natural fit. 

“At Target, we’re so involved in the community and each store communicates with each other so much,” Margolis says. “We do different projects each month so this was perfect.” 

The State College Target, at 315 Colonnade Blvd, hosted an event at the end of last month for employees to contribute items Jared Boxes.

According to Leslie Price, the executive of human resources at the Target store in State College, the store was given five boxes to fill.

“We have been doing a little bit of volunteering, and basically, we just asked our employees if they wanted to donate anything,” Price says. “It’s a great cause and something we’ll likely do again.” 

The Jared Boxes made at the State College location will be delivered to Mount Nittany Medical center. Jared Box Project spokeswoman Cindy Kolarik says the rest of the Target stores are still working on their Jared Boxes.

The campaign is named after Jared McMullin, a State College child who passed away in 2000 one year after being diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor. He was five-years-old.

Jared always brought a backpack stuffed with toys whenever he went to the hospital. His parents thought it would be a fitting tribute to send care packages filled with toys and games to children battling cancer. 

The program began at Jared's preschool at Our Lady of Victory church in State College. Since then, it has grown tremendously, with more than 200 hospitals over the country handing out Jared Boxes to young patients.

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Matt Allibone is a StateCollege.com intern. He's a Penn State senior, studying print journalism. Matt is a native of Delran, N.J.
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